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Renault must improve quickly to keep Daniel Ricciardo smiling | Giles Richards

The next two F1 races in Canada and France will be key for a team hoping to break the monopoly at the top

Daniel Ricciardo knew the scale of the task he was taking on when he left Red Bull for Renault last year and he did it, as ever, with a beaming smile. The Australian was venturing into a long-term project he hopes will present him with the chance to compete with his former team, as well as Ferrari and Mercedes, for the world championship. It was a bold move based on being convinced that Renault’s plan, investment and organisation would be in contention after several years.

In Monaco last weekend, a circuit Ricciardo has truly mastered, not least with his win last year, he turned in the team’s best qualifying of the season, taking sixth place and was optimistic for more. His race began well. As had been hoped, he passed Kevin Magnussen for fifth but was then seriously compromised when Renault sent him into the pits under the safety car and he lost track position to his rivals who stayed out. He finished in ninth and was not happy.

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